Every day we hear and read ominous news abut the reality and results of terrorism in the world. The daily news is filled with images of refugees from Syria trying to escape the forces of evil known as ISIS or ISIL. But its not limited to those forces of evil. There are other groups and so-called “lone wolves” who are planning and committing acts of terrorism in many places around the world. Even in the United States of America. This situation has been a concern since that day on September 11,2001, now know in the United States as Patriot Day. Last week much of the world was reminded of this through news reports and commemorative events. Ever since that “day of infamy”, when thousands were killed and injured in the attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, Americans and people of other peace loving nations have been facing the question of how to respond to all of this terribly bad news.
I can’t speak for or about other nations, but I feel inspired to speak about my country, the USA. I believe a study of those times in the past when the USA has been under attack suggests what our response must be. Following are three examples of how the American people responded when we were faced with a future that human common sense would tell us was hopeless.
To begin with, let’s go back to the American Revolution. When we declared our independence in 1776, We faced the most powerful nation on earth at the time, the British Empire. Right from the beginning, it looked like we were headed for certain defeat. It looked hopeless as our citizen soldiers were dying of exposure during the winters in Morristown and Valley Forge. But as long as there were people in the American colonies, like George Washington, who believed that we were on the side of God and that God was ultimately in control, then the outcome was assured. The victory would be ours because it was God’s victory. The hopes of the American colonists were fulfilled.
Next, let’s go back to the months immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor on another day of infamy – December 7,1941. Our ships were being sunk inn the Pacific Ocean. The allied forces, which now included the USA, were losing ground all over Europe and Asia. Again there was bad news. Again the situation looked hopeless. But again our military forces were led by people like President Roosevelt, Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur, and Admirals Halsey and Nimitz, who believed in God and God’s purpose for this nation. What seemed at the outset to be certain defeat, again turned out to be total victory. God’s victory. Again, God assured that the hopes of the American and allied nations were fulfilled.
Finally, let’s go back to a time many of us clearly remember – the Korean War, the Cold War – the War in VietNam. It seemed that we were always under the threat of nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. It seemed that the United States and our allies were destined to live in a world dominated by the evil forces of Communism. But most of our young men, and many women, faithfully served their country. Today I can say that even though I served in a relatively safe capacity, as an enlisted U.S. Navy Musician, mostly in the 6th Fleet, during the Cold War, I am proud to have been part of that powerful American presence whose purpose was to keep the peace.
Some say that our involvement in the wars in Korea and Viet Nam was a mistake. They say we didn’t accomplish anything. My answer is to point out that the Communist North Korean Forces which attacked South Korea, were forced back into their own borders. I also point to those days in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, and with it all of the evil forces of Communism in Europe. And I believe that the day will come when the evil forces of Communism will also fall in China, North Korea, and Viet Nam, in God’s time and God’s way. Those who served their country in those times did not do so in vain. Victory over Communism, Fascism, and other forces of evil was and is God’s victory. and so it was and will be our victory. God is in the process, even now, of working to fulfill our hopes for the final defeat of those forces of evil.
So how should we respond to the evil forces which are responsible for currently pursuing a war of international terrorism against many people in many nations? I believe we need to develop renewed sense of patriotism, like that which existed during earlier times of apparent hopelessness. But more than that, as was true in earlier times, we must firmly believe, and live as though we believe, that God created and has sustained the USA to be “One nation, under God”. A nation which God created to lead the world toward him as our ultimate source of help and hope. We must believe that no matter how bad things look, that the statement “In God we trust”, is not just a catchy slogan that appears on our currency, but is the truth. I believe that the forces of evil don’t yet realize that God has already won the war against them. And to be honest, it sometimes seems that the rest of us, aren’t so sure about that either. But If we turn to God as our first and ultimate source of hope and help, then without question, the victory which belongs to God, will also be ours. Our hopes for peace will be fulfilled.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
Patty Perez and Ray Gough
We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City